USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) recently received unique training to meet the demands of combat readiness while being paid a visit by a referee and two fighters who participate in mixed martial arts (MMA).
Dr. Michael Gervais, president of Pinnacle Performance Center Inc. and director of High Performance Psychology based in Los Angeles, paid Truman a two-day visit, July 12-13, to educate Sailors on how to sustain stability while under pressure.
"It's a technical training which uses high performance psychology to assist military personnel in achieving new heights in their performance in situations like the Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX)," Gervais said.
Gervais didn't arrive alone, he brought with him clients from one of the company's professional organizations, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), as a gift to the Sailors.
Referee "Big John" McCarthy and MMA professional fighters Rich "Ace" Franklin and Mike Pyle embarked for the first time on board a nuclear aircraft carrier.
"Truman is receiving elite training for the leadership," said Lt. Mike Overton, Truman's assistant safety officer, "and at the same time we are getting a morale builder for the crew through the UFC fighters. It's a win-win situation for everyone."
The dynamic trio mingled with and greeted crew members as they toured the ship, gaining expertise and knowledge about the operations of a carrier.
"Wow!" stressed Franklin. "The teamwork to make this ship operate is amazing. There hasn't been a location on the ship that we've been to where we didn't learn or hear something that wasn't a chin-dropper."
"Everything from the coordination on the flight deck, down to the number of Sailors it takes to drop an anchor for the ship is an impressive thing to experience," added Pyle.
In hangar bay 2, a competition ring was put together and the UFC fighters coached and shared some pointers on improving MMA techniques.
The UFC fighters demonstrated jujitsu, kickboxing, Greco-Roman style wrestling and many more professional moves to Truman's Boxing Team in front of a crowd.
"It's was really cool to be in the ring with some professionals," said Electronics Technician 3rd Class Nicholas Rains of Combat Systems Department, CS-6 division. "We're receiving tips from guys who do this for a living."
"We don't have a lot of really experienced guys to train with while underway and it was nice to get some good instruction today," Rains added.
Store Keeper Seaman Anthony Aguilar of Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department, IM-1 division, learned things he always wanted to learn but was never able do because he didn't know who to go to for instruction in the past.
"It was surreal. I've been watching these guys, especially Richard Franklin, for years and never in a lifetime did I imagine ever meeting them, let alone be in the same ring with them," said Aguilar.
At the end of the visit, the UFC fighters turned Truman's Big Bucks Bingo event into their very own late-night TV comedy show, sharing more than MMA experiences.
"We've enjoyed meeting the Sailors working on board Truman," says McCarthy. "Hopefully we boosted the morale and helped a bit with the training tips we shared with the boxing team."
There was no doubt about the morale boost, as the mess deck was jam-packed with Sailors watching bingo as they laughed at the jokes made by the professional fighters.
"I'm very appreciative and happy they took the time out of their busy schedule to come see us. We do our part and they do think about us and appreciate what it is that we do for our country," said Aguilar.
Truman is currently underway in the Atlantic Ocean participating in COMPTUEX in preparation for deployment to the Persian Gulf.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.